Private sector housing registrations for May have hit their the highest level since 2008 and the start of the economic downturn, new figures from NHBC have revealed.During the boom days housing represented some 50 per cent of work for specialist finishing contractors.

In May 9,617 new homes were registered in the private sector, the highest monthly figure since 10,465 were registered more than five years ago in February 2008. 4,297 were registered in the public sector during the month.

In total 36,487 new homes were registered for the period March – May 2013, compared to 27,125 for the same period last year, representing an increase of 35 per cent.

NHBC Commercial Director Richard Tamayo said: “May’s registration figures build upon the solid volume growth seen over the last six months with the private sector providing a particular impressive showing, with a level of monthly activity not seen since 2008.

“The latest figures can be seen as proof of how various Government initiatives, such as the Help To Buy scheme, are working in delivering more new homes across the industry and evidence of increasing confidence returning to the home building industry.

“Although we have seen encouraging signs so far this year for UK housing registrations, the overall level remains below what the country requires and activity remains slower than before the economic downturn.”